After the whirlwind of events last month, the Man Without Fear has picked up stakes and moved out west. He's wasted no time getting into trouble. [Spoilers below.]
Matt Murdock wrapped up his affairs in the Big Apple when he confessed under oath that he was Daredevil. After years of 'wrongly' influencing the courts— and prosecuting criminals he'd personally apprehended days before— Murdock has been disbarred in New York state.
This would be the end of his legal career... if he weren't still holding a license in California. His secret out, Murdock is openly assisting the police as a walking crime lab— his senses being superior to any forensic instruments available to the SFPD.
He's able to pin down the location of a kidnapped girl with ease, after spotting several latent clues left on the ransom note and the girl's favorite doll. His odds of finding the girl are so high, we don't even see him do it— instead, the story cuts to Daredevil racing over rooftops with the girl already in his arms.
Here's where things get interesting, thanks to Mark Waid. These kidnappers are clever and resourceful. Clever, in that they didn't just snatch their prey— they anticipated her rescue. She's not even bait, she's the linchpin of a terrorist plot. The kidnappers were waiting until she was delivered to a populated area to blow her sky high.
Also resourceful, in that the kidnappers have access to all manner of toys. They fed the girl micro-explosives, devices so small that even Daredevil's hearing didn't pick up on them. And where did they get their hands on a goblin glider?? Are they sub-letting the franchise from the original Hobgoblin? (The color scheme fits.)
Of course, they're not the only ones with help. Daredevil's getting online support from "friend" Kirsten McDuffie— the woman he shared a kiss with at the conclusion of last month's comic, now his law partner. The upside: he gets up-to-the-second directions on where to go (he doesn't know the city that well yet). The downside: the earpiece feeding him Kirsten's help also leaves him otherwise deaf in that ear. Despite the handicap, he still manages to save the day, and experiences a career first: he gets thanked as Matt Murdock.
The chapter ends on a bit of a Wham Line: Murdock's law partner was Foggy Nelson. Then we're left with this ominous image:
The obvious suggestion here is that Foggy has died. I really, really hope that's not the case. Nelson deservesbetter. It's just as possible that he's entered witness protection (wouldn't be the first time), otherwise changed his name, and Murdock's using an empty urn to foil any would-be crooks from involving the cancer-stricken lawyer in a vendetta against Daredevil.
And that's it for the story. I'd be remiss without acknowledging the fine, fine work of Chris Samnee and Javier Rodriguez. The lines are clean, the colors are bright. This is not the Daredevil of yesteryear with the gritty, shadowy undertones, or the noirish vibe with all its implied gray moral areas. This is a Daredevil who dances across rooftops in broad daylight. He's come clean with the public, and the bright colors reflect that. The comic is simpler, and arguably better for it.
Of course, it's only a matter of time before someone sues Murdock's pants off, but for now, he's enjoying a victorious first chapter in a new city. It's a new day. Let the Daredevil revel in that.
What do you think?
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